How Natasha Stott Despoja voted compared to someone who believes that all couples should attract the same rights, entitlements and benefits under Australian law in both the public and private sector, whether they are de facto or married, heterosexual or homosexual

Division Natasha Stott Despoja Supporters vote Division outcome

18th Sep 2007, 6:07 PM – Senate Tax Laws Amendment (2007 Measures No. 4) Bill 2007 and others - In Committee - Remove discrimination

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The majority voted against Democrats amendments (1) and (2), which means they failed.

The amendments related to definitions of the words "de facto relationship" and "beneficiary relationship" to remove discrimination against same-sex couples. Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Murray explained that:

The amendments I refer to arise directly from, and are closely aligned to, the precise and detailed recommendations of the May 2007 Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission report Same-sex: same entitlements [2.5MB]. That was a national inquiry into discrimination against people in same-sex relationships—their financial and work related entitlements and benefits. This is the first tax bill that I could put these amendments to.

Amendments text

(1) Schedule 5, page 98 (after line 17), before item 27, insert:

26A Subsection 10(2)

Insert:

de facto relationship means a relationship between two people living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis, where the relationship is not a marital relationship:

(a) in determining whether two people are in a de facto relationship, the circumstances of the relationship must be considered as a whole. Without limiting the generality of this paragraph, those circumstances may include:

(i) the length of their relationship;

(ii) how long and under what circumstances they have lived together;

(iii) whether there is a sexual relationship between them;

(iv) their degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between or by them;

(v) the ownership, use and acquisition of their property, including any property that they own individually;

(vi) their degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;

(vii) whether they mutually care for and support children;

(viii) the performance of household duties;

(ix) the reputation, and public aspects, of the relationship between them;

(x) the existence of a statutory declaration signed by both persons stating that they regard themselves to be in a de facto relationship with the other person;

(b) a de facto relationship may be between two people of the same gender.

Note: A person in a marital relationship is taken to be legally married - see subsection 8A(2) of the Superannuation Act 1976.

(2) Schedule 7, page 112 (after line 26), after item 65, insert:

65A Subsection 995-1

Insert:

beneficiary relationship for the purposes of this Act, a person had a beneficiary relationship with another person at a particular time if the person has a marital or de facto relationship with the person and ordinarily lived with that other person on a permanent and bona fide domestic basis at that time.

65B Subsection 995-1(1)

Insert:

de facto relationship means a relationship between two people living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis, where the relationship is not a marital relationship:

(a) in determining whether two people are in a de facto relationship, the circumstances of the relationship must be considered as a whole. Without limiting the generality of this paragraph, those circumstances may include:

(i) the length of their relationship;

(ii) how long and under what circumstances they have lived together;

(iii) whether there is a sexual relationship between them;

(iv) their degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between or by them;

(v) the ownership, use and acquisition of their property, including any property that they own individually;

(vi) their degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;

(vii) whether they mutually care for and support children;

(viii) the performance of household duties;

(ix) the reputation, and public aspects, of the relationship between them;

(x) the existence of a statutory declaration signed by both persons stating that they regard themselves to be in a de facto relationship with the other person;

(b) a de facto relationship may be between two people of the same gender;

(c) to avoid doubt, two people may still be in a de facto relationship if they are living apart from each other on a temporary basis.

65C Subsection 995-1(1)

At the end of the definition of spouse, add “and includes a person who is in a beneficiary relationship”.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly for" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 50 50

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 50 / 50 = 100%.

And then